Toshiba gets high output from layering solar cells over silicon cells

Toshiba may be known for consumer electronic goods like TVs, home appliances, and even personal computers, but little is known about its work on energy systems and solutions until now.

The Japanese multinational conglomerate has announced the results of their work on tandem cells, which are transparent solar cells layered over standard silicon cells. According to Toshiba, the conversion efficiency of tandem cells is 9.5%, the highest ever achieved by a transparent Cu2O (cuprous oxide) solar cell.

Toshiba testing solar cell layering for EVs image

The benefits of the tandem cell not only boost the development of electric vehicles (EVs) that do not require plug-in charging but also trains and other mobility options that offer limited installation space. It also positively impacts other applications like high-altitude platform stations and telecom platforms in the stratosphere.

Using a test criterion developed by Japan’s NEDO (Japan's New Energy and Industry Technology Development Organization), Toshiba learned that a single charge allows the current tandem cell to power an EV for 37 kilometers. Further improvements toward the maximum efficiency of 42.3% are expected to extend the range close to 55 kilometers.

Toshiba testing solar cell layering for EVs image

Toshiba will put its work on display at the CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) 2022 next month. It will also be on exhibit at the 33rd International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference (PVSEC-33) at the Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Japan, from November 13 to 17.

The next step for Toshiba will be to produce 4-terminal Cu2O-Si tandem solar cells suitable for EVs and other mobility devices.